I’d been working spotty freelance contracts for years when I finally landed a stable full-time job in NYC. I was receiving a competitive salary doing something I would easily do for free, and I quit after a year — to do it my way.
Teaching and uplifting others, building inclusive and innovative community spaces, and diversifying the technology industry from top to bottom has been personally important to me for over a quarter of my adult life. I’ve spent the last 6 years devotedly working as a software engineer, educator and entrepreneur with the very personal goal of increasing the representation of Black people in positions of leadership across the tech industry.
Although I grew up around technology: playing video-games, tinkering with toys and browsing through my Myspace profile in high school, I never seriously thought about a career in engineering and technology until later in life. My first experience learning to code was in college, where I randomly took Introduction to Computer Science to fulfill a General Maths credit. Funny enough, I could’ve filled that requirement with just about anything but chose Computer Science particularly because it was so unfamiliar to me.
I hadn’t expected it but found that my education in engineering enriched my life by equipping me with certain tools and processes I could use to turn my own creative thinking and problem-solving skills into real-life solutions. Learning to create my own logical systems, programs and applications helped me fight off the paralyzing feeling of grief I felt after the senseless killings of the many innocent Black people that kicked off the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.